(Participating in 7 Days of Rest and Reflection as a Heartist!)

Day 3 FIRE

I woke up hearing…. ‘with tongues of Fire…burning my soul’ from the ‘Power of Love‘, by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, ringing in my brain.
I seem to have a bit of a cold…all that Water energy yesterday maybe!?!
A very grey, dark, winters day. Lit my kitchen window candles.
Thought I might use some previous pictures I had taken, of a burning smudge stick, for inspiration….they became my Fire Cover Photo for Facebook.
And then, on this morning’s wander through the internet, looking at fire images, I journeyed through Kali temples, fires festivals, Burning Man to Shetland’s Viking fire processions, and spectacular images of Edinburgh’s Samhian Fire Festival. My eyes sparkled with reflected flames.
Knew I wanted to use my beloved, homemade, charcoal today. My favourite medium.
Burnt wood.
Took photographs of incense smoke, allowed myself to become mesmerised by its movement and the effect of my breath on it and created a wee GIF from them.
Smoke signals.

Feeling there was too much Fire.
We are always on fire.
Lit up 24/7.
We surround ourselves with fire derived objects.
Always firing things…..and people, and/or at them.
I feel like a Fire Resistor.
The MacNab cypress seeds! One of my learnings from yesterday’s meeting with my ‘new’ tree, was that their ‘cones’ have pyrophytic properties! It is the heat of forest fires that triggers them to open and release their seed! Something in this interests me. And the cones are so beautiful. Such exquisite structure.
Had a stupid conversation with my husband.‘What is the point in doing all this?’ he asked….again. I felt my rage, but displayed resigned, patient frustration.
Wasted so much energy in the resulting attempts to explain the nature of this experiment…..again.
‘If ‘every action has an opposite and equal reaction’, have we ever really tried just to be KIND to the Earth? In our whole, recent, evolution? If, as many of us are beginning to believe, we are all part of one living organism, if we were kind, ‘it’ might even begin to like us being here!? Respond in kind? React benevolently? Seems worth a shot to me!’
Well…something like that.
Went out up the track to document the tree and collect some samples.

Busy window sill!

On the way back I had a curious conversation with a shouting jay.
I could not see it, but it was screeching away in the dark, sitka, forest. Perhaps shouting at me? I swear that when I replied to it, it stopped, then said ‘Whaaaat!?’ in total surprise, as if it was not expecting me to hear and respond! I spoke back again ‘I hear you!’ and it chuckled and stopped being alarmed! Then my husband cranked up the music in his garage and the silence was broken…I sang the ‘I got the human, greedy, capitalist,unkind, blues’ to his blues track and whistled the harmonica line….then the small birds began whistling too! They have been so silent recently, except abrupt alarm calls. I’ve really noticed it on these last, no wind, days. It was great to hear them joining in!
Back into my artcave…

Lit more candles.


Spent a long while checking my identification of the tree as a MacNab Cypress…it just did not fit. Eventually I am pretty sure I found it….a lonely, far from home (native to California) and in less than ideal conditions, Monterey Cypress!! Click this link to see a couple of the magnificent specimens alive around the world today! The one on this track is just a baby in Monterey Cypress years and due to too much shade (the foresters have done this one a favour…it is going to LOVE the forest coming down. Perhaps it will begin to earn the wind carved shape that they are so famous for and get some long awaited sunlight?), too much acid soil and water, it has not had the best of starts. In one of the lopped branches I counted 32 rings and that was just on a branch….still in a few hundred years? Who knows? The seeds of this tree are also triggered by fire…..


I decided to try and use heat to open one of the tight, hard cones. I burned some of the foliage, setting it on a charcoal burner, to see if it was a nice incense….it had a pleasant smell when rubbed between the fingers and the tree smelled resinous…but it was not nice at all! I had complaints from the family as it leaked out under my door!

I sat the cone on top and tuned into Shelley Ostroff’s Fire meditation for the day.

Flighty today. Flickering. I had been jumping with impulses all day and enjoying it. Impulse was the word I took away. I had a glimpse of the charcoal image I wanted to draw out later….and, when the meditation finished, I looked down and WOW…my experiment had worked! It did not open fully, but with a tiny encouragement, I shook out, what appear to be, possibly viable, seeds! Now I know what I am giving back!

I like the theme of our own internal fires and creativity, but, perhaps, like one of these cones, we all need the, exact, correct conditions, that divine timing.  Like the cone, that has to be burnt before it can open and explosively expand and release all its live-giving seeds, into the fresh ash, to regenerate.

beginning 'Expand and Release' Drawing the Monterey cone
working into 'Expand and Release'
'Expand and Release' finished

This was the image from the meditation.

So that was where Fire took me! Fascinating! Feel a bit burnt out now…..but grateful to have spent this time dancing with Fire element.

Deep Bow.


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